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Today's contributed post covers some financial moves to make when tragedy strikes. It's never pleasant to think about, but it's always best to be prepared.
There’s nothing worse than losing a loved one. Unfortunately, tragedy can strike at any money because accidents happen. The last thing anyone wants to think about is money; grief the always the primary emotion.
At some point, it becomes important to divide the assets fair and equally. It’s not nice but it is part of the process and can help people deal with their feelings. Dealing with the deceased’s estate is by no means a simple task. There are wills to gather and lawyers to speak to, and that’s before the inevitable in-fighting.
To help, here are the moves you should make.
Wills are weird. The one that was drawn up last supersedes the others if there is more than one. So, the last will that you think is the legally binding document may be just a piece of paper. To ensure the one you have is the main will, you should speak to their attorney as soon as possible.
Hopefully, they will be able to provide all of the info necessary. Plus, probate attorneys verify everything and make sure there are no dirty tricks at play. Also, they will be able to shed light on the executor, the person who carries out the will’s contents. Without that person, you won’t be able to proceed.
No one wants to see evidence, but debtors won’t take you at your word. They need proof that the person in question is deceased and won’t be able to pay their bills. As the journey continues, no one will accept your version of events unless there is an official death certificate. With this in mind, make copies, several of them, and send them to the bank, energy suppliers and anyone with who your loved one has outstanding debts. A savvy tip is to get as many as possible because it can be confusing to source after the fact.
As the next of kin, there’s a chance that you may inherit their debts. Of course, you had nothing to do with them in the beginning, so you have zero clues as to the amount owed. Your family member or friend may have paid off a significant chunk yet the lender may try and take advantage of the situation. To cover your back, collect as many documents as possible relating to their arrears. That way, there is official proof of the total outstanding amount as well as your liability.
As you can tell from reading this post, there is a lot to consider and you aren’t an expert. The good news is that there are professionals on hand who will sort through the mess. Accountants can do everything from rounding up the outstanding amounts to cutting contributions. For example, he or she should be able to guide you through the tax process for the deceased. Plus, their expertise will prevent any money leaking from the estate.
It’s never nice to think about, but what steps have you taken to prepare for the loss of a loved one?